By Alex Elliot.
A humorous incident that is
imprinted on my mind still, occurred while
completing recruit training at Kapooka, in
approximately May 1964.
Behind the old Nissen huts that we lived in was
a flat area where we used to congregate to sit
in the sun, kick a football about etc on the odd
They had at that stage dug deep trenches around
the area to put either drainage or sewer pipes
in with one running through said flat area.
One day two recruits Carlo “Charlie” Fragomeni
(later Gunner Fragomeni with 4th Fd
Regt) and Graeme Smith (later Private Smith with
6 Battalion) had a disagreement and had a punch
up between the huts and the trench while many of
A Company looked on.
Charlie was quite a bit smaller than Graeme but
very fit and muscular and during a flurry of
punches Graeme was backing away when suddenly he
vanished, having fallen into the trench which
was about seven feet deep. Charlie immediately
started triumphantly jumping up and down waiving
his arms and shouting I’ve won, I’ve won or
words to that effect.
As we watched on a furious livid red face with
angry glaring eyes appeared out of the trench,
finally Charlie must have noticed that we were
all looking past him and glanced behind him. By
this stage Graeme was in the act of scrambling
out of the trench, Charlies face in an instant
changed from a look of triumph to one of
horror/terror and he immediately fled the scene
with Graeme in hot pursuit. Fear must make
people run faster than anger as Graeme was
unable to catch him.
When they eventually returned they had both
calmed down, as both were by nature good hearted
blokes who didn’t hold grudges and I think
eventually they both saw the funny side of the